Eggenipa, Vestlandet, Norway.
They casually pasted me, a family with 3 young children. Lifting the smallest up and down big boulders. All while I was trying to catch my breath after panic had tried to involuntary take over my body again. I am not really fond of heights, specifically if you have to boulder your way up steep cliffs with only the help of a rope, casually lying on the rocks. But since it seems to be a constant in my life, to keep ending up on those places on god forsaken mountains in the middle of nowhere. So, fear has become like an old friend. It has become so familiar that I’m capable of thinking clearly in those moments of fear: “Why am I so afraid of this?”
Anyway, it put things into perspective when these moments become the decor of a family having a casual day out. No wonder that Norwegians are such adventurous outdoor lovers. They basically get thrown into it on an age they probably don’t have memories from later.
I don’t know if I will ever reach that level of Norwegianness. But for now, let’s start by stubborning myself up this mountain. It was the mountain that gave our new little village its characteristic decor. Towering above it, shaped like a perfect pyramid. The iconic Eggenipa.
At least it looked like the hard part was over now, two thirds to the top. I also didn’t fancy going the same way down again, so we clambered our way up. As always, it was very much worth the effort. You could watch kilometres far across this beautiful part of Norway. An amazing view over the glacier was the cherry on top.
At this point most people returned the same way as they went up, but we decided to hike the roundtrip. It would take us even deeper into this mountain landscape, crossing stretches of snow, guarded by this amazing landscape.
The path led us all the way over the mountain towards where the water from the glacier came down. After which we followed the path of snow back down into the green valleys.
I suggest you download the amazing UT app! This way you have a very detailed map at hand of where you are on the trail. This is valid for most of Norway’s marked hikes. There is a little parking lot where you can leave your car and find an informative description of the hike on a board as well.
The first part leads you very steep on a muddy path through a birch forest. Once you get above the tree line you will find very big boulders on the cliff-like side of the mountain. With the help of ropes and your hiking-buddies you can conquer this as well. The bouldering gets less steep in the end, until you get rewarded with the best view over the region and the glacier.
For the round trip, keep on going straight after the top, in direction of the glacier. The path will bend back to the valley in the end. Be aware that there are sloped patches of snow to be crossed. But I really recommend the round trip, although it will take you longer than going up and down the top.
I would like to say to you that this is a pretty advanced hike. You really have to boulder and can’t be too afraid of heights. At some points on the very steep path, there are ropes who will help you clamber higher on the steep cliffs. On the route back, you will need to cross several patches of downhill snow, walking sticks are advised. But then again, we saw parents literally lifting their children up this mountain as well. So, the difficulty level surely depends on how Norwegian you are.